Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Jan 1st Ride

The ride will start from Ewell by the Spring Bus stop at 10.00am on Jan 1st to ride to Richmond Park at an easy pace all welcome.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunday 28th December 2008

I dragged myself from my sick bed (man flu) and joined Bob and Simon at Hookwood Tesco's but not before falling off on ice after taking a wrong turn to access the pedestrian entrance.
Simon complained of it's lack of's a supermarket for god's sake! whilst Bob sung it's praises " only 85p for coffee".
Ed was punctual and in tow was Keith,Roger,Jake,Jeff,Adam,John G &Emma.
Just Simon headed north,with Bob promising to meet up with us.
We left via Meath Green,Smallfield,Newchapel to Lingfield for lunch.The Greyhound was ditched in preference to The Gate where four of us settled down to homemade butternut squash soup-£3.50.
At 1.30pm,the publican decided we had to go..........more diners in the waiting.........apparently.
The route home was via Tilburstow Hill and Merstham.No takers at F.F so we were all home well before dusk.
A cold day with a freezing easterly.No mileage totals due to computer malfunction - probably the battery/weather/who knows?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday 21 December 2008

An octet of C&M hatchlings warbling in the nest at the Abinger Hatch

Sunday 21st December 2008

At present I know not how they came to 11s nor how they got home so for the moment be happy with news of the middle.

Fourteen we were at Sainsbury's Cobham but only nine went on from here. Jake kept us guessing by heading into Cobham town centre and past the Running Mare on Tilt Road. The homes of the Blues and the Merry Fiddlers came next before a right in Fetcham lead up to the Lower Road and through the Bookhams. From Browns Lane a long slog up Beech Avenue delivered us to the top of White Down. Across the A25 it was first left and another grind up to Abinger Common.

The BYOs disappeared into the churchyard where Ed and I discussed what landed there on 03/08/44 (hint : there's a clue in one of the pictures). After a cursory viewing of the motte at Abinger Manor we rejoined in a quiet Abinger Hatch for a round of drinks only before the Spelthorne mafia and I went home up White Down. Just 40 miles on a breezy but otherwise perfect day for cycling.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday 14 December 2008

The Lucky Duck at Shere was the aptly named venue to welcome these bedraggled cycling waterfowl for a well deserved if inflation busting elevenses

Warming the cockles and drying out the plumage around the inglenook after lunch at Little Park Hatch, Cranleigh

Sunday 14 December 2008

After Saturday's deluge, water had to be the only topic when we arrived in our dribs and drabs in Shere. The main party had come an unusual route finding deep pools in Leatherhead, Sheepleas(!) and Coombe Bottom whilst our Runs Sec had to offroad before Whitedown could be descended. The RSF were in residence with their president more than pleased with a £82K EU bung for Dolgoch hostel. It was not a day for heroics so the directissima to Cranleigh was taken; the leader bringing up the rear for much of the way. The Little Park Hatch was expecting us so settling into the inglenook, we tackled the generous menu and Pride. Keith and Jeff continued on B2126 after Forest Green; the rump tackled the Tanhurst River; for once potholes clearly visible. After a final descent from Coldharbour into Dorking there was the parting of the ways with no takers for tea. All that remained was to prove that waterproof boots ain't when standing in six+ inches of water (Leatherhead cycle path)! And not a drop of rain all day.

For all completists:-

30/11 A308 to Hampton; uncl/B375 to Chertsey; towpath to Staines; A308/A328/uncl to Bishopsgate then Cheapside; B383 to Woodside; B3034/A330 to Little Hatchet; A330/A329 to Ascot; A330/B3020/A30/B386 to Windlesham; uncl to Burrowhill, Addlestone etc ways.

7/12 Only the leader at Cheam so the ride can be summarised as: Church Road, Highlands Road, Headley Road, Clay Lane, Hurst Lane, Hurst Road, Ebbisham Lane.

The day Leatherhead went under..........14/12/08

The pics say it all.
The 1st pic was taken from Thorncroft Drive bridge,L'head across the Mole looking south with cycle path on left.
The 2nd pic is the cycle path along side Dorking Rd from Givons Grove R/B.
The 3rd pic is the junc of Critten Lane & White Down lane where a volvo awaits AA service.I had to climb over 2 gates and cross a field to take this photo.Some may remember a fallen tree in the same location a few years ago.
The 4th pic is the L'head Leisure Centre R/B.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday 23rd November 2008

Firstly a recap for those who missed last week's gripping episode.

Soon-to-be-ex-councillor used side roads to Sutton but then took a more characteristic LCN75 (known to the wider world as A232). After riding over its iconic Croydon flyover, we turned right at West Wickham loos whence Jackass Lane lead up to Keston Church and a gentle downhill to the recently opened High Elms Country Park cafe. The less than magnficient seven (Simon, Andrew, Ed, Graham, Keith, Mike, Roger) soon realised that they were in the wrong location! So after a lengthy breakfast we sought out the golf course where Bob and Jeff were to be found, and still time for a second breakfast. Wisely Andrew and Bob headed for home as a drizzle set in. Simon's briefing hinted at country lanes and we did pass Down House (a first for me) so Biggin Hill came as a shock. From here it's a long long and busy downhill into Westerham where the expensive Grasshopper was chosen for lunch. Eventually five became seven again (Jake and Flo after discovering another Grasshopper!) By now the drizzle was steady so abandon ship we did past Tatsfield Church to the top of Bottley Hill and down into Purley where ours ways parted.

As the flakes descended and settled I waited for the calls. When none came, I headed reluctantly for Cheam where Ed was shivering in a doorway. Two became three so with Richard we sped off through Worcester Park, Tolworth and the Dittons. Sewage led onto Hersham ghettoes and a resurfaced Walton Bridge where by chance we were caught by Andy and David W (heading in the opposite direction). By now the sleet had turned to rain and a welcome if none too warm elevenses was reached via the spiral. Positioned to avoid the leaks, we were soon joined by drowned rats Irene, Pam and Pete Mitch. Delaying until noon for glimmers of light, we crossed the ford down to the Chertsey road and after St Anne's Hill and Lyne climbed to the treacle mines on Staple Hill. Just on one o'clock "Soups all round" was our order in the friendly Four Horseshoes, Burrowhill. The short hop to Ottershaw Tesco was accomplished in bright sunshine and less than 30 minutes. After more relaxing (and shopping for the ladies), I reached home in the light - 45 miles door to door.

PS Pics from PJ.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday 21 November 08

Read All About It!

As most will know, our esteemed Editor-in-Chief of the Sou’Wester, Mike Morley, is suffering an anguished convalescence on the sands of Bondi Beach. As his shaking finger seems to have pointed in my direction (he’s getting his own back!), and as the deadline for news, reports, scandal, tit-tat etc for the Jan/Feb ‘09 edition of the Sou’Wester is 26 November (next Wednesday!), I am writing to ask if you could let me have copies of items already submitted, pending or white-hot off the paper, so that I can present them to our publisher Colin Quemby for setting and printing.

Now is your chance to get into print, so sharpen that pencil and let us know what you have always wanted to say. How about a Letter to the Editor from Disgusted Tunbridge Wells? You’ll never have a better chance than this! Don’t waste any time thinking about it – do it know!

Whatever you have got to say, let me have it now! My contact details are in the last Sou’Wester. The lines are now open!

(Ever so temporary sub-editor)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Expedition into Hampshire

Sunday 9th November 2008

At Surbiton Station Jeff stood out amongst a throng of passengers. Then Andy appeared but not in time to purchase our tickets as all the booking windows closed without notice at 0925! After the mad dash for the DIY machines, it was no surprise when the platform announcer told us the train had been delayed. At Woking Irene and Pam joined and so five detrained at Hook for our Tour Of North Hampshire. The motorway road was closed to all but ourselves and an errant LOL (little old lady) motorist. Soon we were heading through Greywell where the Basingstoke Canal ends. After five miles Conkers GC saw us joining Bob and Pete as the only occupants of its cafe.

It was not a great day for navigators. Andy led us past Basing House to join NCN23 in Basingstoke; a curious route but only when we headed south back into Old Basing were my shouts heeded and we reversed. At a fork beyond Bramley NCN23 went left and we went right to a photo shoot at the ford beside Clapper's Farm (651616). By now the skies were darkening and cloaks were donned as we encircled Calleva's walls. Pete soon peeled off for Mortimer West End but everyone else was up for The Big Sister and Molly. In driving rain we swept west into Tadley where a call beside the Treacle Mine forewarned of our coming. To broaden Jeff's experience, we took in AWE to arrive around 1330hours. After a hurried lunch of soup and rolls we were off past Baughurst church and first left down a delightful lane which ended back in Tadley! - an embarassing detour of 3+ miles. Next we took the second left (200 yards beyond the first) to Charter Alley. After a brief but busy A430 sprint, we entered Elm Park GC Pamber End for a prearranged meeting with Bob, though no time for tea. At Bramley End I punctured waving on the rest. After a quickish change and a long chase along NCN23 and through Newnham, I caught them (on Hook platform). Around 37.5 miles including those detours.

Thorn Bike for Sale

Thorn Raven Tour with 14 speed Rohloff speed hub. Large frame (587L) V brakes Flat bars with micro bar ends Satin Black Dyno front hub and many other extras Datatracked equipped (transferable) Purchased Feb’07 £1800 less than 1000 miles – will accept £1300 Contact Neil 07768991624

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Sunday 2 November 08

Ride Report – C&M – 2 November 08

The Lizard's Tale

There were Seven Magnificent Cycling Samurai who set off from North Cheam on an unexpectedly fine November Sunday morning. They were by name: Andrew, Ed, Ian, Jeff, Keith, Mike and Richard. The strategy was to launch an assault upon the 11 o’clock objective of W. Horsley from the hills to the South, rather than the plains to the North, as had been done the previous week.

The Seven soon were Six at the top of Epsom Downs, as Richard decided to break off to follow his own line of attack. The off-road lure of Stane Street was resisted as the party found ample cover among the wooded hills and dales of the Surrey Downs, the leaves displaying a glorious range of colour. I cannot give further detail of the route they took. Suffice to say that an exhilarated, if not exhausted cohort reached its first objective, disguised as a garden centre, to find it already in the possession of a larger group of friendly forces.

Refreshed the party split, some heading home, some onward to adventures new. Shere Road was overcome, followed by a cautious descent to Shere and Little London, where lunch was taken at the hostelry of William IV. Here some were scurrilously left to break their bread in a nearby pasture, before being allowed to enter to warm themselves and sup a jar of ale. The broth and beer were good.

The party regrouped to venture further, though two ladies took early leave to return to their distant Thames-side barracks. So on via Hook Lane, Jesses Lane and Pond Lane to the Peaslake hollow. Then a long haul up Radnor Road through Hurt Wood to the summit, where breath was taken and the view admired. However, disaster was soon to strike. A treacherous trench of hardened silt across a bend in the lane caused the hapless leader to stop to warn of danger – then they were gone! The leaderless group, intoxicated by the tempting downhill, released their brakes and disappeared down Holmbury Rd, leaving the twitching lizard’s tail behind on Three Mile Rd. Would the tailless lizard climb back to rejoin its severed tail? You know the answer! Would it be inclined to climb up Miles’s Hill to reunite at Pasture Wood? Wireless telephony said ‘no’.

The tail of Andy, Jeff and Terry therefore pressed on to Denbies, where a valiant Jake appeared bringing news that the breakaway had discovered more than ample solace at the altar of Capel Church – the tea-stop of the Gods.

Some other will no doubt relate the tale of what befell the rest.

As for the three remaining Samurai, soon they vanished into the thickening dusk.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oct 26th

Pam & Irene enjoying Lunch

Sunday, October 19, 2008

19 October 08

A rare photo of the Cheam and Morden Massive defending their North Cheam Manor, ready for a raid on West London along the Grand Union Canal

This might not look like the Hampton Court Palace of King Henry VIII. Perhaps just the tradesman's entrance. The regal redcoat that you can see is our noble leader, testing out a mightily well sprung Brooks saddle, in preparation for a possible fall-back career as a tricycle-powered delivery boy.

Sunday 19th October 2008

It's with hesitation that I put the words "Canal" or "Thames Path" on the runs list because historically they are less than well supported. Last summer, Ed accompanied me to Denham Country Park on mostly well surfaced canal side paths.
So to meet 6 members at NC was a revelation to say the least (Ian, Ed, Frank, Francoise, John & Jeff).
In Richmond Park, Jeff was amazed at the plethora of (mainly) racing cyclists doing the circuits. Across the bridge and TP to Syon Park to join the Grand Union Canal at Brentford.
Tarmac for three or so miles the path levels then climbs at locks but 10mph is easily achieved. Elevenses was a big Tesco at Bulls Bridge just off the route.
Bob with good reason complained of it's 11am opening, we had a nine minute wait.
Back on the GUC to West Drayton, where by now the path had lost it's surface and was a little bumpy.
South to Harmondsworth Moor and some cumbersome barriers (see pic). Past Terminal 5 to Horton Road and the George pub at Wraysbury.
No beer, according to Ian and my observations deduced a lack of upkeep, things awaiting repair, etc but despite this the non-British landlord seemed pleased to see us. Terry & Graham made an appearance so then a discussion about the 2009 Easter Tour ensued.
The return trip was via Staines, Laleham, Shepperton, Sunbury and Hampton Court's Tiltyard cafe.
Pot of tea - £1.45........... still cheaper than F***** F***.
If one of the greatest palaces ever built can do POT under £1.50, what's the problem? ............Over to you F****!!!

Cycle stuff 1/3 off at Tesco Extra stores:
Mini rear/front led light - £2.66 until 21/10 then £4 (recommmended). Similar item in CW £7.50.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday 12 October 08

The Catford Hill Climb - Yorks Hill
The Cat and Bec Hill Climbs
A bracing sprint down the A217 and the mad mile to get the blood pulsing got me to the N. Cheam starting grid with 5 minutes to spare, having already spotted Andy at the Banstead X roads heading Kentwards to sneak an early head start. Joined there, spot on 9am by Ed, reliable as clockwork, followed by Graham, Ann and Steve and evergreen Tony, I basked in the October sunlight and the joy of not being left on the starting line, as I had the privilege of being the leader!

The route taken was not adventurous, being much on main roads. From Cheam to Sutton to Carshalton, past the old Payne’s Poppets factory to Waddon, 5 Ways (by the old Propeller pub), to the Swan & Sugarloaf. I seem to identify places by landmarks that no longer exist! Thus we passed S. Croydon railway station and up the long but not too testing drag of Croham Road and Farley Road, which at the top, for some reason that I’m sure somebody will explain, metamorphoses into Old Farleigh Road. The ‘Old’ I can understand but why does Farley become Farleigh?

So up and down to Warlingham and the B269, still climbing steadily to Botley Hill, which Graham assures us is the highest point in Greater London. We followed the misty B269 to swoop like Toad of Toad Hall down Westerham Hill to meet the Sunday morning motoring blitzkrieg on the A25. A brief dogfight with the Messerschmitts and Mercedes before turning right up New Road to face the long climb to Ide Hill. In no time we were engulfed in the mêlé of cyclists at the top of Yorks Hill, with the Catford Hill Climb in full swing. Already critically appraising the performances, the feats of masochism beyond the bounds of sanity, were Andy, Lisa, Pete and Grant. The magazines and web-pages will relate the triumphs and disasters of the event.

Ready to leave the Fox & Hounds

Then off we set again for the second act of the drama, the Bec Hill Climb, to be played out on the teasing gradients of White Lane, Titsey. We sunned ourselves at a lengthy stop en route at the overpriced Fox & Hounds, where the landlord charged a credit-crunching £3.40 for a pint of soda water and juice. He even complained about his bank manager! His card is marked! The fever caused was cooled by a swift descent of Toy’s Hill. Then we crossed the A25 to make our way via the Pilgrims Way to the afternoon venue for a further orgy of gladiatorial endeavour – and tea and cake. Here were also Ray with Beryl as well as Jake – all pedalling four wheels, not the customary two.
Winner of the Bec - Dan Lloyd (1.46.44)
At the end, our senses sated, we struck for home back along the B269, this time a sweetly purring downhill. Past Warlingham the party split, our one anxiety – which way did Andy go?

In summary, a day to make the ladies glow, the gentlemen perspire, the leader sweat!

Gateway to Torment at the top of Titsey

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Re this Sunday's Ride to Yorks Hill etc - 12 Oct - Advisory

As the Catford Hill Climb is due to start at 10.30 this Sunday, anybody not wishing to miss a moment's sadistic spectating pleasure is advised to make his/her own way to Yorks Hill to get a good vantage point. A 9.00 start from North Cheam is unlikely to get us to the climb by 10.30, at least not me, and I would not want anyone to be disappointed!

Let's hope that the weather is good.


Monday, October 06, 2008

More From The FreeWheel

Pictures from Francoise

Sunday, October 05, 2008

5 October 08 - Post Scriptum

As Graham says, a most enjoyable cud was chewed in the Courtyard Cafe as we quietly steamed away.Serious intelligence was passed that the Frog and Nightgown does not provide food. I therefore armed myself with a double flavour muffin to munch for lunch in some inconspicuous corner beneath the hem of the nightgown. Then, an unfortunately timed precautionary visit to inspect the Courtyard's facilities - not long - but long enough for that vote to be taken whilst I was in absentia (or more precisely in lavatorio). It was time for the off ,to gown up and depart. Some of the party were clearly heading home. However, by the time I was caped up, not a spoke to be seen. Could I catch them up? But however hard I pedalled, not a sign of spray from a back wheel on the horizon. So it was from North Holmwood to Henfold to Newdigate to Rusper to Wimland. By heavens, they must have been going at a lick! At last the F&N but no sign of any familiar bikes from the C&M. Where are they? Have they added in a few extra miles? Puzzled once again, I reflect on the loneliness of the short distance cyclist as I wend my way homeward for an early shower and comforting cup of Earl Grey to sup with my somewhat soggy muffin.

Sunday 5th October 2008

This was a miserable day, wet and windy. The forecast had changed overnight - under (not over) an inch of rain was likely to fall. But it was warm and off I went. First came Jake then me then the official party (Mike and Keith via the Zigzags) and finally Jeff. Thus five were present at the Courtyard Cafe Dorking to chew the cycling cud before a crucial vote. The motion was passed nem con and home we all went. As is often the case, it improved - steady drizzle until I was over the threshold.

PS Cycle Power, the new shop in Worcester Park, tell me they offer discounts to CTC members.

Friday, October 03, 2008

28 September 08

From Godstone GC (not illustrated) to the Royal Oak Crawley Down to Fanny's Farm Shop via Chaldon Church - the C&M in training to join the Bullingdon Club. There was a little bit of unavoidable cycling in between refreshment stops

Monday, September 29, 2008

Friday Night Ride To The Coast(October 2008)

For details see

Sunday 28th September 2008

After a quick change into armwarmers and a jacket, I was off on a foggy morn. Just four (Graham, Ann, Ed, and newbie Dave) at the start of the ultimate ride of the year, we headed up through Cheam, Chipstead, Merstham and finally the school to Godstone. Its garden centre cafe has gone from greasy spoon to all too common Italian; already there were Ian and Jeff. As we prepared to leave, Andy showed after a 15mph average so the restart was delayed.

By now the day was perfect (mid 60s) for cycling. After a taste of A22, Crowhurst led onto the Lingfield backstreets to emerge at the village cage. Then came the drag up to East Grinstead where we turned west onto the A22 (briefly and chock-a-block with coast-bound cars) and A264. Our alfresco and leisurely stop was the reasonably priced Royal Oak Crawley Down.

Over the A264, favourite lanes led past Cheshire Home and Hedgehog to Outwood Hill where the climbs started. After Bletchingley we went halfway up White Hill then down to and up Hilltop Lane to Chaldon Church. Required to sing for our cakes, we declined and backtracking made our way to a crowded Fanny's. And then home to find the World Championship demoted to the red button - around 70 miles for me.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sunday 21st September 2008

Summer just doesn't want to end - perfect for that annual slow bicycle ride that is the London Freeeeeewheel.This non-charity event is simply a chance to ride on closed roads but not necessarily at speeds above 8mph.
This year,Sky Sports coughed up £100,000 for the lead sponsor(last year Hovis parted company with £300,000).
Ed,Graham,Steve,Frank,Francoise,Jake,Simon and myself arrived via the hidden cycle path behind Colliers Wood Retail Park emerging at Figs Marsh.From there it was across Tooting Bec Common to Clapham Common to join the L F hub going toward the main ride.
Elevenses was a confusing affair with the Teapod at Shad Thames a trifle busy we moved on only to return moments later unsuccessful in finding an's the good weather you see,brings everyone out for the last few decent days of 2008.
Returning from the Weatherspoons,we spotted "an olympic hero",none other than Chris Hoy doing the media stuff.
Boris was also fairly obvious to most people,scruffy light coloured suit and of course the hair.
Dispersal was immediate but Ed & myself still managed a NT tea at Morden.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Sunday September 7th

Some sad news: Pam had a fall on the way from her home to elevenses and has a broken collarbone as well as some heavy bruising and grazing. She had managed to soldier on to Tower Hill where we were watching the Tour of Britain but she was deteriorating and was eventually advised by a St John's Ambulanceman to go in an ambulance to Whitechapel hospital for a check-up. Last we heard was Pam's niece was coming up by car to take Pam and her bike home.
From Steve

Friday, September 05, 2008

Sunday, 31 August '08

Donner und Blitzen!
Shamefaced apologies to leader Ed and others for Sunday's faint-hearted non-appearance.
Kitted up and ready to go, then: Donner und Blitzen! The Gods were really disgruntled about something! Thunder and lightning - no problem. But the torrential rain! By the time I had waited, caped up, improvised flippers and a makeshift lightning conductor, vital time had passed. With a sinking feeling I ventured out, but with no hope of reaching the starting line in time. If the North Cheam sub-aqua group had not been swept away in the torrent, which tributary would they take? Upstream or downstream? I guessed they would head for high ground and paddled my way to Epsom Downs, where I moored and kept a watery eye on the misty horizon. Wrong choice. Wrong number also in the mobile. After some time, waterlogged, I weighed the options in the balance: Westerham, but where? Would anybody be there? Or a dejected skulk back home?
I am ashamed to confess that the mangy, whining dogs of darkness howled down the voice of boldness and endeavour. It was Faintheart, not Braveheart who all too soon was stabling his dripping steed in the garden shed.
Congratulations to that stout trio who persevered and put the rest to shame!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Pams Party

I (Pam) would love you all to come to THE RAILWAY pub (next to Build Centre with orange coloured sign), in EGHAM, 40 STATION RD. TW20 9LF Saturday 27th September, 6pm onwards for my house warming! Also to celebrate becoming a Great Grandmother! And yes - it's true, I do have a birthday, but PLEASE no gifts, just your selves! Lot's of grub prepared by my niece and music mostly 60's - 80's. NOW, if one feels inclined, PLEASE - dress up!!!!! Dig deep into your wardrobes! Car parking is large car park opposite the station just a few shops from the pub which has not got a car park but has parking for Bicycles!! My phone number 01784 436389 mobile 07900335256 See you there :) :) :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday August 24th 2008

After a morning of continuous drizzle, it was surprising to see 28 besmutted legs in Costa Coffee. The official party arrived last around noon; they had travelled via Tadworth for Meet The Petes, descended Pebblecombe, and wandered cross country to Rusper (where Ed punctured), Warnham (where Ed punctured again but slowly) and Tesco Broadbridge Heath.

Jake and Grant were still reacting to last week's 12 hours so home was a priority. Under clearing skies, the rest (Keith, Andy, Ann, Bob, Ed, Graham, Janice, Jeff, Paul Petes B and F, Steve) headed south initially down A264 before turning towards Barns Green. After crossing A272 at Coolham, a final wiggle delivered us to the Five Bells, Smock Alley around one thirty. Here forces divided; BYOs sat in the garden, drinkers indoors sampling this Camra local Pub Of The Year 2008.

Keith's inward and outward routes looked similar so I suggested an alternative using B2133. This took us through West Chitlington to Broadford Bridge then northwest to Adversane and the Limeburners. After a brief A272 flirtation, lanes went north to The Haven and Rudgwick. Then familiar roads lead to Ellen's Green and Okewood Hill before Weare Street provided a conduit to Capel for the cakes demolition and parting of the ways. Slighty over 80 miles and very pleasant once the rains had passed.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sunday 17th August 2008

I had to make sure I'd typed August and not October................because the weather was up to it's tricks again with a chilly wind and variable cloud keeping the temperature below seasonal average.
After last weeks (very) poor show, with the exception of Jeff at the VC, Bob at the GC, and Graham at NC, I set off for my second lead.
At 9:10 there was just Ed and myself, then our company became a crowd with the appearance of Keith.
Past the Lavender fields, How Lane (abandoned Holdsworth?), High Road (Crystal Palace fast men and women attending puncture), Reigate Hill, Sidlow Bridge, Irons Bottom and Hookwood Tesco.
Graham joined us having had a quality sleep of 11 hours after his night ride, but probably due to lengthy questioning on my part we set off on the wrong side of 11:30.
Leaving Bob, we negotiated the airport perimeter road to pick up NCN 22 south and the western end of The Worth Way.
By the time we had reached Turner's Hill it was almost 1pm so plan B was to be The Red Lion for lunch (Plan A was Ardingly).
Another late departure - 2:20 but a partial route retrace meant we gained some time getting to Brockham around 3:30.
It was "donate what you like day" at this popular tea stop so flushed of a £2 we settled outside shortly to be offered FREE SECONDS, to recognise the uplift in takings.
With the thought of Pebblecombe hill 2 miles away we declined the offer of THIRDS!!

61 miles from Ewell.
12.8 ave.
37mph max - Reigate Hill.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Secretary's Saturday Ride To The Coast

I couldn't go a week without a long ride so an exchange of emails with Mr Kneebandage provided one(16/8 0045 hours).

Thirty minutes after our intended rendezvous, down Kingston Hill came over sixty flashing beaming cyclists. Joy was shortlived as we had a mechanical within five minutes; it was to the rear of the peloton and outside Asda. After a lengthy wait I cycled back as person most likely to be of assistance. I found them struggling to reseat a tyre; the obvious solution was a spare wheel brought from home (actually damaged beading so a tyre would have sufficed!). From being last I found myself in the lead between Cobham and Guildford (regrouping at Ockham and Burnt Common). No doubt the A3 slow lane hasn't seen anything like it but I was going as hard as possible to reach familiar territory. Our belated break was at Paddington Bear's well after three. Here I was accused by our esteemed councillor of losing a rider (he hasn't been found so the charge may not stick; Monday update : DNS!).

By four thirty we were on A281 and then B2133. Leading became superfluous as there were too many faster riders but Simon's little helpers halted us at Alford and Adversane. Here Simon took command and an order was restored. A freshening Southerly wind bit into tiring limbs and stops in Ashington and Steyning were long. The last stretch on the wide-open A283 was demanding - I couldn't latch onto any wheel yet passed quite a few. All together again in Shoreham at eight, we wheeled our bikes over the footbridge to breakfast at the Waterstone Inn - it was all over. Ignoring those stops, an average of just under 13mph made for a lively ride. Great fun and home before eleven.

Monday, August 11, 2008

10 August 2008

The Curse of Lullingstone Castle

Sunday started with an over-ambitious attempt at 9.30am to make the 30 miles to Lullingstone by 11am. Doomed! A two hour ride and half an hour late at Lullingstone VC, not GC. The C&M flock had flown the coop. Chastened, I then explored some unfamiliar Kent countryside and was challenged by some of the many sharp little climbs that rear up out of nowhere, before sheepishly appearing at the lunch-time venue to confess my sins - some of them at least.

Romney Street is a remote little hamlet in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by climbs. I found just one inn - the Fox and Hounds - sandwiches welcome! One o'clock - no sign of the Ancient and Modern. Two pm - no C&M. Has the curse of Lullingstone struck again? Time to head for home with tail between the chainstays. A détour to the tea-time stop of Downe? I think not - Downe is out.
Later, under the shower, I ponder where I went wrong.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Sunday 3 August 2008

Sheltering from the weather at the Merry Harriers
Splinter group (with sandwiches) on the other side of the road
Olympic gold for the ladies of Capel Church - this is what it is all about!
The C&M congregation at their devotions

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Sunday 3rd August 2008

As this was CTC Birthday Rides week, I set out from home in trepidation on a far from perfect day (dull, muggy with spots of rain). As well as familiar faces there were five newcomers at North Cheam, which amazed me. Three didn't cross the M25 for divers medical reasons - hopefully we shall see them on future rides.

The route was obvious, through Ewell and Malden Rushett and right up Stokesheath Road. Via Summerhays we entered Cobham followed by Mayes Green (very large and faster Serpentine Club bunch) and Hungry Hill. Alongside the A3 led us into Guildford where Steve punctured at Stoke Park. Eventually fourteen settled into The Rodboro Buildings being Graham, Adam, Andy, Bob, Ed, Irene, Janice, Jeff, Keith, Neil, Pete B, Steve H and newcomers Graham Hardman and Tom Bell. We were back on roads near Shalford Church and Chinthurst/Tannery Lanes were an A281 bypass. In Foxborough Hill Road we started the Munstead climb, becaming a race nearing the water tower. Now most went into the bushes to the Hambledon road but backmarkers Andy and Adam went right before realizing their mistake in Tuesley Lane. The Merry Harriers Hambledon is being modernized and half painted so we dined alfresco. We enjoyed the llamas but perhaps not the expensive food and drink and had to endure a drizzle, which was to last until Alford. After lunch Bob departed as is his wont and the newcomers were keen on a quick homecoming; in truth they are a bit fast for us but promises were made to use partners next time to slow them down. Turning into Vann Lane, I twigged that my route was the Surrey Cycleway between Munstead to Boxhill - so much for careful planning! Thus were the dogs of war unleashed - just follow the brown (sometimes blue) signs. So I lead the autobus to Capel Church and our customary orgy of cakes and tea. From there differing speeds took us home - nearly 80 miles door to door.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Finale pic's Brittany

Before the race and introduced by himself - Mohamed. Apart from arranging for Pam's entry to the race he also tried to sell us his house. He is Morocan and could speak perfect French and English, the house had 6 bedrooms, a Granny flat, huge lounge and dinning kitchen, double garage and large garden. All for Euro 199,000.
Race in Progress

Prize presentation (Miss Brittany was quite nice too)

Coming home - Rule Brittania